Law List is a recurring column documenting unique laws from destinations from around the world, or as we like to say, the weird rules you need to know before you go.

Got bikinis and short swim trunks on the brain? Booking a trip to Barcelona and its sweeping Mediterranean coastline to scratch that itch? Well, be aware that one of Europe's most popular beach cities might not be as liberal in the swimsuit department as you might think.

In fact, as of the early 2010s, Spain's international hub has heavily restricted when and where you can wear your favorite swimming attire, imposing fines of up to $266 for infractions. The regulations stipulate that bathing suit usage is for beach areas only, and that women wearing just bikini tops or men who have decided to go shirtless in public spaces off-sand are subject to a stiff fiscal penalty.

The law is said to have gone into place in order to protect neighbors from raucous tourists and is mainly attributed to a steep rise in British tourism since the early 2000s. While it is unclear exactly how strictly this policy is enforced, several travel authorities have warned that crackdowns have gotten harsher since the country reopened after COVID.

But Barcelona isn't the only Spanish destination tightening down on tanks and trunks. In Mallorca, people are subject to nearly $500 penalties for wearing attire in public spaces not considered beach or beach front. These regulations are more directly tied to overtourism issues and are accompanied by new strict drinking laws that limit open bar and all-inclusive resort options and impose heavy fines for drinking in public. Sadly, many of these regulations are reactions to real problems faced by citizens of vulnerable communities on the island, and truly shouldn't be taken lightly.

Many of these laws, silly or not, are meant to keep these beautiful places intact. Tread lightly, and do your homework. Remember, the more you know, the better you travel.

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